Skip to main content

Polkadot Accounts

This document covers the basics of Polkadot and Kusama account addresses and how they exist on-chain. For a more in-depth explanation of the cryptography behind them, please see the cryptography page.

Address Format#

The address format used in Substrate-based chains is SS58. SS58 is a modification of Base-58-check from Bitcoin with some minor modifications. Notably, the format contains an address type prefix that identifies an address as belonging to a specific network.

For example:

  • Polkadot addresses always start with the number 1.
  • Kusama addresses always start with a capital letter like C, D, F, G, H, J...
  • Generic Substrate addresses start with 5.

These prefixes are defined here.

It's important to understand that the different formats for different networks are merely different representations of the same public key in a private-public keypair generated by an address generation tool. This makes the addresses compatible across Substrate-based chains as long as you convert the format.

Many wallets allow you to convert between formats. Stand-alone tools exist as well, you can find them in the address coversion tools section.

Address Generation, Derivation, and Portability#

A valid account only requires a private key that can sign on one of the supported curves and signature schemes. Most wallets take many steps from a mnemonic phrase to account key, which affects the ability to use the same mnemonic phrase in multiple wallets. Wallets that use different steps will arrive at a different set of addresses from the same mnemonic.

Seed Generation#

Most wallets generate a mnemonic phrase for users to back up their wallets and generate a private key from the mnemonic. Not all wallets use the same algorithm to convert from mnemonic phrase to private key. A typical mnemonic phrase generated by the Subkey tool is shown below

"caution juice atom organ advance problem want pledge someone senior holiday very"

and its corresponding private/public key pair is shown below.

Secret seed (Private key): 0x056a6a4e203766ffbea3146967ef25e9daf677b14dc6f6ed8919b1983c9bebbcPublic key (SS58): 5F3sa2TJAWMqDhXG6jhV4N8ko9SxwGy8TpaNS1repo5EYjQX

Subkey and Polkadot-JS based wallets use the BIP39 dictionary for mnemonic generation, but use the entropy byte array to generate the private key, while full BIP39 wallets (like Ledger) use 2048 rounds of PBKDF2 on the mnemonic. As such, the same mnemonic may generate different private keys on different wallets, due to the difference in the cryptographic algorithms used. See Substrate BIP39 for more information.

Derivation Paths#

If you would like to create and manage several accounts on the network using the same seed, you can use derivation paths. We can think of the derived accounts as child accounts of the root account created using the original mnemonic seed phrase. Many Polkadot key generation tools support hard and soft derivation. For instance, if you intend to create an account to be used on the Polkadot chain, you can derive a hard key child account using // after the mnemonic phrase.

"caution juice atom organ advance problem want pledge someone senior holiday very//0"

and a soft key child account using / after the mnemonic phrase

"caution juice atom organ advance problem want pledge someone senior holiday very/0"

If you would like to create another account for usage on the Polkadot chain using the same seed, you can change the number at the end of the string above. For example, /1, /2, and /3 will all create different derived accounts.

You can use any letters or numbers in the derivation path as long as they make sense to you; they do not have to follow any specific pattern. You may also combine multiple derivations in your path, as well. For instance, //bill//account//1 and //john/polkadot/initial are both valid. You will need to know both the seed and the derivation path in order to recreate a derived account, so you should either use a well-defined sequence (e.g. //0, //1, //2...) or be sure to write down any derivation paths you use.

It is not possible to generate a derived account without also knowing the derivation path.

Soft vs. Hard Derivation#

A soft derivation allows someone to potentially "go backwards" to figure out the private key of the initial account IF they know the private key of the derived account. It is also possible to determine that different accounts generated from the same seed are linked to that seed. A hard derivation path does not allow either of these - even if you know a derived private key, it's not feasible to figure out the private key of the root address, and it's impossible to prove that the first account is linked with the second. Both of these derivation methods have their use cases, given the private keys for all the derived accounts are fully secure. Unless you have a specific need for a soft derivation, it is recommended to generate the account using a hard derivation path.

See the Subkey documentation for details and examples of derivation path formats. The Polkadot-JS Apps and Extension as well as Parity Signer support custom derivation paths using the same syntax as Subkey.

Some wallets will automatically add derivation paths to the end of the generated mnemonic phrase. This will generate separate seeds for separate paths, which allows separate signing keys with the same mnemonic, e.g. <mnemonic phrase>//polkadot and <mnemonic phrase>//kusama. Although you may correctly save the mnemonic phrase, using it in another wallet will not generate the same addresses unless both wallets use the same derivation paths.

Polkadot and Kusama both have paths registered in the BIP44 registry.

Warning: You must have both the parent private key as well as the derivation path to arrive at the key for an address. Do not use custom derivation paths unless you are comfortable with your understanding of this topic.

Portability#

The above information brings us to portability: the ability to use a mnemonic phrase or seed across multiple wallets. Portability depends on a number of factors:

  • Derivation path
  • Mnemonic format
  • Seed derivation
  • Signature scheme

If you want to use the same mnemonic across multiple wallets, make sure that they follow compatible methods for generating keys and signing messages. If you cannot find understandable documentation, reach out to the project maintainers.

Mnemonic FormatDerivation PathSeed DerivationSignature Support
Polkadot{.js} ExtensionStandardUser-DefinedBIP32sr25519
Polkadot-JS AppsStandard*User-DefinedBIP32sr25519, ed25519, secp256k
LedgerBIP39BIP44†BIP32‡ed25519§
SubkeyStandard*User-DefinedBIP32sr25519, ed25519, secp256k1

* Ed25519 keys have limited compatibility with BIP39.

BIP44 Registry

‡ Ed25519 and BIP32 based on Khovratovich

§ Sr25519 planned

For the Curious: How Prefixes Work#

The SS58 document states that:

  • Polkadot has an address type of 00000000b, so 0 in decimal.
  • Kusama (Polkadot Canary) has an address type of 00000010b, so 2 in decimal.
  • Generic Substrate has 00101010b as address type, which is 42 in decimal.

Because Base58-check alphabet has no number 0, the lowest value is indeed 1. So 00000000b is 1 in Base58-check. If we try to decode a Polkadot address like 1FRMM8PEiWXYax7rpS6X4XZX1aAAxSWx1CrKTyrVYhV24fg, the result is 000aff6865635ae11013a83835c019d44ec3f865145943f487ae82a8e7bed3a66b29d7. The first byte is 00, which is indeed 00000000 in binary and 0 in decimal and thus matches the address type of Polkadot.

Let's take a look at Substrate addresses. If we decode 5CK8D1sKNwF473wbuBP6NuhQfPaWUetNsWUNAAzVwTfxqjfr, we get 2a0aff6865635ae11013a83835c019d44ec3f865145943f487ae82a8e7bed3a66b77e5. The first byte is 2a which when converted from hex to decimal is 42. 42 is 00101010 in binary, just as the SS58 document states.

Finally, let's look at Kusama addresses. Decoding CpjsLDC1JFyrhm3ftC9Gs4QoyrkHKhZKtK7YqGTRFtTafgp gives us 020aff6865635ae11013a83835c019d44ec3f865145943f487ae82a8e7bed3a66b0985 with the first byte being 02, just as specified. If we try a Kusama address that starts with a completely different letter, like J4iggBtsWsb61RemU2TDWDXTNHqHNfBSAkGvVZBtn1AJV1a, we still get 02 as the first byte: 02f2d606a67f58fa0b3ad2b556195a0ef905676efd4e3ec62f8fa1b8461355f1142509. It seems counterintuitive that some addresses always have the same prefix and others like Kusama can vary wildly, but it's just a quirk of Base58-check encoding.

Obtaining and Managing an Address#

The most user-friendly way to create a Polkadot or Kusama address is through the Polkadot-JS UI. Remember to back up the seed phrase used to generate your account - the accounts are stored only in your browser, so purging the cache will wipe your accounts as well. You would then have to recreate them using the seed phrase given to you by the UI - this will also restore all your previously held balances.

A more convenient and recommended method of keeping the accounts stored on your computer is using the Polkadot{.js} extension. This extension remembers your accounts and allows you to clear your browser cache without fear. Still, don't forget to back up your seed phrase - if you lose access to this computer, or the extension somehow crashes beyond repair, the phrase will come in handy.

Please note that as this keeps your accounts in the browser, it is not a safe place to keep large holdings. By definition, a browser is a "hot wallet" and susceptible to a wide range of attacks, so keep your funds in cold storage when dealing with non-trivial amounts. For improved security, you can securely stash away the seed phrase for your accounts and remove all traces of the accounts from your computer after creating them.

Other than the extension and the default UI, Polkadot and Kusama addresses can also be created with the Subkey tool. Subkey is intended for users comfortable with using the command line and can seem intimidating, but is quite approachable. Follow the instructions in the Subkey documentation. When used properly, Subkey is the most secure available method of creating an account.

There is also the very secure Parity Signer. This keeps your keys on an air-gapped mobile phone. However, it does require obtaining an old Android or iOS-compatible phone that you are comfortable using only for Parity Signer.

Hardware wallet integration is possible with Ledger. A full guide is available here.

Alternatively, you might find other wallets on the Wallet page, but bear in mind that some of these are unaudited and are not officially affiliated with Web3 Foundation or the Polkadot project unless otherwise stated.

Balance Types#

On Polkadot there are four different balance types that indicate whether your balance can be used for transfers, to pay fees, or must remain frozen and not used due to an on-chain requirement.

The balance types are defined by the AccountData struct in Substrate. The four types of balances include free, reserved, misc_frozen (miscFrozen in camel-case), and fee_frozen (feeFrozen in camel-case).

In general, the usable balance of the account is the amount that is free minus any funds that are considered frozen (either misc_frozen or fee_frozen) and depends on the reason for which the funds are to be used. If the funds are to be used for transfers then the usable amount is the "free" amount minus any misc_frozen funds. However, if the funds are to be used to pay transaction fees than the usable amount would be the "free" funds minus any funds that are fee_frozen.

The total balance of the account is considered to be the sum of free and reserved funds in the account. Reserved funds are held due to on-chain requirements and can usually be freed by making some on-chain action. For example, the "Identity" pallet reserves funds while an on-chain identity is registered, but by clearing the identity you can unreserve the funds and make them free again.

Existential Deposit and Reaping#

When you generate an account (address), you only generate a key that lets you access it. The account does not exist yet on-chain. For that, it needs the existential deposit: 0.0000333333 KSM (on Kusama) or 1 DOT (on Polkadot mainnet).

Having an account go below the existential deposit causes that account to be reaped. The account will be wiped from the blockchain's state to conserve space, along with any funds in that address. You do not lose access to the reaped address - as long as you have your private key or recovery phrase, you can still use the address - but it needs a top-up of another existential deposit to be able to interact with the chain.

Transaction fees cannot cause an account to be reaped. Since fees are deducted from the account before any other transaction logic, accounts with balances equal to the existential deposit cannot construct a valid transaction. Additional funds will need to be added to cover the transaction fees.

Here's another way to think about existential deposits. Ever notice those Thumbs.db files on Windows or .DS_Store files on Mac? Those are junk, they serve no specific purpose other than making previews a bit faster. If a folder is completely empty save for such a file, you can remove the folder to clear junk off your hard drive. That does not mean you lose access to this folder forever - you can always recreate it. You have the key, after all - you're the computer's owner. It just means you want to keep your computer clean until you maybe end up needing this folder again, and then recreate it. Your address is like this folder - it gets removed from the chain when nothing is in it, but gets put back when it has at least the existential deposit.

Indices#

A Kusama or Polkadot address can have an index. An index is like a short and easy to remember version of an address. Claiming an index requires a deposit which is released when the index is cleared.

Indices are populated in order. Think of them like slots going from 0 to any arbitrary number:

[0][1][2][3][4][5][6]...

If slots 0-2 are populated by addresses A, B and C respectively, and I add an existential deposit to address X, that address will automatically be put into slot 3. Henceforth, you can send me money by just sending to [3] rather than remembering my whole address.

[0][1][2][3][4][5][6]...[A][B][C][X][ ][ ][ ]...

But what if an account gets reaped as explained above? In that case, the index is emptied. In other words, the slot frees up again. If someone creates a new account, they may end up using the same index another address was using before.

It is possible to freeze an index and permanently assign it to an address. This action consumes a deposit but makes sure that the index can never be reclaimed unless released by the holding account.

To register an index, submit a claim extrinsic to the indices pallet, and follow up with a freeze extrinsic. The easiest way to do this is via PolkadotJS UI through the Developer -> Extrinsics menu:

Indices extrinsics

To find available indices to claim, this helper tool may come in handy.

Identities#

The Identities pallet built into Polkadot allows users to attach on-chain metadata to their accounts. This metadata can be verified by independent registrars to provide trustworthiness. To learn more about how to set or release an identity, how to define sub-accounts, or how to become a registrar, please read this guide.

Proxy Accounts#

Polkadot comes with a generalized proxy account system that allows users to keep keys in cold storage while proxies act on their behalf with restricted (or unrestricted) functionality. See the proxies page for more information.

Multi-signature Accounts#

It is possible to create a multi-signature account in Substrate-based chains. A multi-signature account is composed of one or more addresses and a threshold. The threshold defines how many signatories (participating addresses) need to agree on the submission of an extrinsic in order for the call to be successful.

For example, Alice, Bob, and Charlie set up a multi-sig with a threshold of 2. This means Alice and Bob can execute any call even if Charlie disagrees with it. Likewise, Charlie and Bob can execute any call without Alice. A threshold is typically a number smaller than the total number of members but can also be equal to it, which means they all have to be in agreement.

Learn more about multisig accounts from our technical explainer video.

Multi-signature accounts have several uses:

  • securing your own stash: use additional signatories as a 2FA mechanism to secure your funds. One signer can be on one computer, another can be on another, or in cold storage. This slows down your interactions with the chain, but is orders of magnitude more secure.
  • board decisions: legal entities such as businesses and foundations use multi-sigs to collectively govern over the entity's treasury.
  • group participation in governance: a multi-sig account can do everything a regular account can. A multi-sig account could be a council member in Kusama's governance, where a set of community members could vote as one entity.

Multi-signature accounts cannot be modified after being created. Changing the set of members or altering the threshold is not possible and instead requires the dissolution of the current multi-sig and creation of a new one. As such, multi-sig account addresses are deterministic, i.e. you can always calculate the address of a multi-sig just by knowing the members and the threshold, without the account existing yet. This means one can send tokens to an address that does not exist yet, and if the entities designated as the recipients come together in a new multi-sig under a matching threshold, they will immediately have access to these tokens.

Generating Addresses of Multi-signature Accounts#

NOTE: Addresses that are provided to the multi-sig wallets must be sorted. The below methods for generating sort the accounts for you, but if you are implementing your own sorting then be aware that the public keys are compared byte-for-byte and sorted ascending before being inserted in the payload that is hashed.

Addresses are deterministically generated from the signers and threshold of the multisig wallet. For a code example (in TypeScript) of generating you can view the internals of @w3f/msig-util here.

The @w3f/msig-util is a small CLI tool that can determine the multisignature address based on your inputs.

$ npx @w3f/[email protected] derive --addresses 15o5762QE4UPrUaYcM83HERK7Wzbmgcsxa93NJjkHGH1unvr,1TMxLj56NtRg3scE7rRo8H9GZJMFXdsJk1GyxCuTRAxTTzU --threshold 1npx: installed 79 in 7.764s--------------------------------Addresses: 15o5762QE4UPrUaYcM83HERK7Wzbmgcsxa93NJjkHGH1unvr 1TMxLj56NtRg3scE7rRo8H9GZJMFXdsJk1GyxCuTRAxTTzUThreshold: 1Multisig Address (SS58: 0): 15FKUKXC6kwaXxJ1tXNywmFy4ZY6FoDFCnU3fMbibFdeqwGw--------------------------------

The Polkadot-JS Apps UI also supports multi-sig accounts, as documented in the Account Generation page. This is easier than generating them manually.

Making Transactions with a Multi-signature Account#

There are three types of actions you can take with a multi-sig account:

  • Executing a call.
  • Approving a call.
  • Cancelling a call.

In scenarios where only a single approval is needed, a convenience method as_multi_threshold_1 should be used. This function takes only the other signatories and the raw call as its arguments.

However, in anything but the simple one approval case, you will likely need more than one of the signatories to approve the call before finally executing it. When you create a new call or approve a call as a multi-sig, you will need to place a small deposit. The deposit stays locked in the pallet until the call is executed. The reason for the deposit is to place an economic cost on the storage space that the multi-sig call takes up on the chain and discourage users from creating dangling multi-sig operations that never get executed. The deposit will be reserved in the caller's accounts so participants in multi-signature wallets should have spare funds available.

The deposit is dependent on the threshold parameter and is calculated as follows:

Deposit = DepositBase + threshold * DepositFactor

Where DepositBase and DepositFactor are chain constants set in the runtime code.

Currently, the DepositBase is equal to deposit(1, 88) (key size is 32; value is size 4+4+16+32 = 56 bytes) and the DepositFactor is equal to deposit(0, 32) (additional address of 32 bytes).

The deposit function in JavaScript is defined below, cribbed from the Rust source.

// Polkadotconst DOLLARS = 10000000000; // planckconst MILLICENTS = 100000; // planck
// Kusama// const DOLLARS = 166666666666.67;// const MILLICENTS = 1666666.66;
const deposit = (items, bytes) => {  return items * 20 * DOLLARS + bytes * 100 * MILLICENTS;};
console.log("DepositBase", deposit(1, 88));console.log("DepositFactor", deposit(0, 32));

Thus the deposit values can be calculated as shown in the table below.

Polkadot (DOT)Kusama (KSM)Polkadot (planck)Kusama (planck)
DepositBase20.0883.34012008800000003340100000000
DepositFactor.0320.0053333333123200000005333333312

Let's consider an example of a multi-sig on Polkadot with a threshold of 2 and 3 signers: Alice, Bob, and Charlie. First, Alice will create the call on chain by calling as_multi with the raw call. When doing this Alice will have to deposit DepositBase + (2 * DepositFactor) = 20.152 DOT while she waits for either Bob or Charlie to also approve the call. When Bob comes to approve the call and execute the transaction, he will not need to place the deposit and Alice will receive her deposit back.

Example with Polkadot.JS#

For this example, we will be using the Westend testnet and Polkadot.JS Apps to create a 2-of-3 multisig address and send a transaction with it.

While Westend is meant to replicate the Polkadot mainnet as closely as possible, there are a few notable differences:

  • Existential deposit is equal to 0.01 WND (Westies; Westend's native coin) instead of 1 DOT.
  • The multisignature transaction deposit is equal to ~1 WND instead of ~20.2 DOT.

The photos below reflects values in WND, but instructions are the same for DOT.

To create a multisig address and send a transaction using it, you will need the following:

  • List of the multisig member's addresses. We will use Alice, Bob, and Charlie.
  • DOT to deposit into the multisig address.
  • ~20.2 DOT refundable deposit to send a multisig tarnsaction. This needs to be in the address that initiates a multisignature transaction (in this example, Alice).

You should already have your own account with some coins in it.

Account page

To generate the multisig address, we need to add the multisig member addresses to the contact book under "Accounts > Address book".

Address book

For each address, click "Add contact" in the upper right and provide the address and a name.

Add Contact

Here, Bob and Charlie have been added.

Address books 2

Next, we need to create the new multisignature address. Navitage to the Accounts page (from the toolbar, "Accounts > Accounts") and click the "+ Multisig" button. We will supply the three multisig member addresses, with a value '2' for the threshold.

New multisig

Click 'Create', and you should see the new multisig address appear on this Accounts page.

5

Let's fund the address now. For this example, we will transfer some coins from Alice's account to the multisig address. Under Alice's address, click 'Send', select the multisig wallet as the destination, and provide an amount. Then, click 'Make Transfer', and then 'Sign and Submit'.

6 7

We can see that the multisig account now has a balance.

9

To send a transaction, we need one of the members to initiate it. Let's use Alice to initiate the transaction.

Make sure Alice has enough coins to cover the multisig transaction deposit and the transaction fees. Then, click 'Send' under the "Multisig Test Address", select a destination address (we generated an address locally) and a transfer amount, and click 'Make Transfer'.

10

To sign as Alice, make sure she is selected as the 'multisig signatory', click 'Sign and Submit', and sign the transaction.

11

You will now see a pending transaction the 'Multisig Test Address' (the red '1' icon), and if you click the dropdown under Alice's balance, you will see that a value equivalent to the multisig deposit has been 'reserved', rendering that value untransferable until the multisig transaction completes.

12

Next, we need a second signature. Let's get it from Bob. In Bob's browser, repeat the following from the above steps.

  1. Add Alice, Charlie, and the multisig transaction destination addresses to Bob's Address book.
  2. Create a new multisig address with the same parameters (Bob, Alice, and Charlie's addresses, and a threshold value of '2').

NOTE: Since multisig address genereation is deterministic, if Bob (or any other member), on his computer, were to generate a multisig address using Alice's, Charlie's and his addresses, with a threshold value of '2', he would produce the same multisig address that Alice has here.

If done correctly, we should see that the same multisig address is produced in Bob's browser, and that a pending transaction is displayed, too.

13

Next, to get Bob's signature, he needs to craft the same multisig transaction that Alice did by providing the same destination address and transfer amount (together, transaction parameters), signing, and submitting it. Alice initiated the transaction by uploading a signature of the hash of the transaction and the hash. These transaction parameters will allow Bob to produce and sign the same transaction (the same hash) that Alice signed earlier.

14

Click 'Make Transfer', ensure that Bob is the 'multisig signatory', and click 'Sign and Submit'. Note that 'Multisig message with call (for final approval)' is automatically enabled; this means that, since the transaction will reached the signature threshold, it will execute the actual transaction on chain after adding the second signature.

15

Assuming no errors, 'Multisig Destination Account' has a balance of 0.3 WND, and Alice's account has released the multisig transaction deposit.

16

Address Conversion Tools#

You can use the tool below to convert any SS58 address for any network for use on different networks.

Alternatively, use this handy subscan tool or this simple address convertor.

How to Verify a Public Key's Associated Address#

You can verify your public key's associated address through a series of inspection steps, where the key is a base-16 (hexadecimal) address.

Using Subkey to Retrieve Public Key from SS58 Address#

This is to showcase that the SS58 address is based on the public key (aka "Account ID")

The Subkey Tool's Inspecting Keys section explains how to use the inspect command to recalculate your key pair's public key and address.

Start by inspecting your account's Polkadot address by running the inspect command against your account's address:

$ subkey inspect 1a1LcBX6hGPKg5aQ6DXZpAHCCzWjckhea4sz3P1PvL3oc4F
Public Key URI `1a1LcBX6hGPKg5aQ6DXZpAHCCzWjckhea4sz3P1PvL3oc4F` is account:  Network ID/version: polkadot  Public key (hex):   0x192c3c7e5789b461fbf1c7f614ba5eed0b22efc507cda60a5e7fda8e046bcdce  Account ID:         0x192c3c7e5789b461fbf1c7f614ba5eed0b22efc507cda60a5e7fda8e046bcdce  SS58 Address:       1a1LcBX6hGPKg5aQ6DXZpAHCCzWjckhea4sz3P1PvL3oc4F

Take note of the hexadecimal string for "Public key (hex)". This is your account's public key.

Running the inspect command on your public key, the default SS58 address that is returned the associated Substrate address.

$ subkey inspect 0x192c3c7e5789b461fbf1c7f614ba5eed0b22efc507cda60a5e7fda8e046bcdce
Secret Key URI `0x192c3c7e5789b461fbf1c7f614ba5eed0b22efc507cda60a5e7fda8e046bcdce` is account:  Secret seed: 0x192c3c7e5789b461fbf1c7f614ba5eed0b22efc507cda60a5e7fda8e046bcdce  Public key (hex): 0x5a095388156e3a68d4fb7cbaef981478e1a0be6d4998f00dffc3e4e9c60c104c  Account ID: 0x5a095388156e3a68d4fb7cbaef981478e1a0be6d4998f00dffc3e4e9c60c104c  SS58 Address: 5E6kwKEhrpVMnZvkBRFCzCcRnMXcft4HSaogYQtgtaw6QJ5s

Using the --network flag, you can define the network that you would like to inspect, where the SS58 address will be based on that network. Now, running the inspect command with --network polkadot return your original Polkadot address, thus verifying the public key.

subkey inspect 0x192c3c7e5789b461fbf1c7f614ba5eed0b22efc507cda60a5e7fda8e046bcdce --network polkadot
Secret Key URI `0x192c3c7e5789b461fbf1c7f614ba5eed0b22efc507cda60a5e7fda8e046bcdce` is account:  Secret seed: 0x192c3c7e5789b461fbf1c7f614ba5eed0b22efc507cda60a5e7fda8e046bcdce  Public key (hex): 0x5a095388156e3a68d4fb7cbaef981478e1a0be6d4998f00dffc3e4e9c60c104c  Account ID: 0x5a095388156e3a68d4fb7cbaef981478e1a0be6d4998f00dffc3e4e9c60c104c  SS58 Address: 13345eVmibkqE6wG94JD8MSadyXGNBcRX5YAhht3Sfxcaw9U

You will notice that the Subkey Tool recognizes the correct network of the address and returns the associated public key. The public key is returned as a hexadecimal string (i.e. prefixed with "0x"). For both SS58 addresses, the same public key is returned.

Address Verification#

Consider the following example:#

17

If you are comfortable enough to distinguish between each account parameter, you can prefix the public key string with "0x" on your own:

From: Pay DOTs to the Polkadot account:192c3c7e5789b461fbf1c7f614ba5eed0b22efc507cda60a5e7fda8e046bcdce, we prefix the address by "0x" -> 0x192c3c7e5789b461fbf1c7f614ba5eed0b22efc507cda60a5e7fda8e046bcdce.

Using the handy subscan tool, you can verify both address associations to your public key. Copy your public key into the "Input Account or Public Key" textbox and click "Transform" at the bottom. On the right-hand side, the addresses for Polkadot and Substrate that are returned based on your public key should match with the ones you inspected.

18

Note: You may have to scroll down to the bottom of the menu to find the Substrate address based on the menu listings. You will notice that there are many networks that also use the same Substrate address.

You can verify your own public key verification by recalling that Polkadot addresses start with a '1', whereas Substrate addresses generally start with a '5' (Kusama addresses start with a capital letter). See Addresses for more details.

Furthermore, the Utility Scripts can be referenced for how the verification is performed: pubkeyToAddress.js demonstrates how a Polkadot, Substrate, or Kusama address is interpreted by a single public key.

Resources#